Dating Someone With Disabilities - The Basics - IG Post
Ableism is discrimination against people with disabilities and people perceived to be disabled. This discrimination is supported in societal views, language, and even legislation seeing disabled people as inferior. Ableism is deadly. The lack of accessibility, human rights, and discriminatory practices against disabilities is deadly. As someone dating someone with disabilities, it is YOUR responsibility to unlearn your ableism. Even if you are disabled, you can still exhibit internalized ableism. Internalized ableism can manifest in refusing accessibility or support for yourself or others, feeling like disabilities (or certain ones) should be hidden or something to be ashamed of, and general discrimination.
Some PWD may talk about their disabilities early in the dating process. Making you aware of their disabilities does not mean they are looking for pity, help, or being your inspiration p-rn. They may follow up with their limitations (if any) and accessibility needs for a date or activity. Or they may say nothing else at all. If you have questions about their disability/ies, first ask if they are willing to expound more on it. Not everyone is interested or comfortable going into detail. Understand that asking questions does not mean you get to invade someone's privacy. If you are struggling with what is appropriate to ask, retake time to reaccess your ableism and seek resources from PWD while doing so.
Don't F-cking Do This.
ask -"What's wrong with you?" - this insinuates that there is something wrong with a PWD.
ask - "Were you born this way?" -really not your place to delve into someone's medical history you barely know
manipulate any of their aids - do not push someone's wheelchair, play with their cane, etc.
ask - "Have you tried -insert random cure-?" - insinuates that something is wrong and needs to be fixed
speak in a "baby voice" or slowly - do not assume all PWD need you to speak differently
ask how or if they have s-x - how is this your business?
touch them without permission - ableist people often do not acknowledge PWD's bodily autonomy
ask - "What's your disability?" - even if you feel you can recognize their disability
But is it accessible?
Speak to your date about what things they would like to do. If those activities aren't typically accessible, brainstorm how to make them. Recognize accessibility is inclusive of safe. So that means avoiding rigging something up that could put your date's safety at risk. Your date must be included in conversations about where and when you plan to do dates. Accessibility is not an inconvenience.
If you feel like considering accessibility for someone you are interested in intimately is an option - you do not need to date them (or anyone else).